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April Fools Day Ideas for Children

March 29, 2017 | Leave a Comment

April Fools Day is just around the corner and promises to bring fun to all!

It is a day that all can get involved in. Nannies, families and even children!

As always, April Fools Day is celebrated on the 1st April. With so many practical jokes to choose from, it can be hard to just choose one. Make sure what ever you decide to do, it is safe and doesn’t cause any harm or offense.

Here are some sensible, yet fun ideas that parents, nannies and children can get involved with:

  • Change the colour of milk with food colouring.
  • Disguise fruit pieces as chocolate by re-using the wrapper and covering up fruit.
  • Place bug cut outs around the house and in lamp shades and see who falls for it.
  • Place toilet roll in shoes so when someone comes to putting there shoes on, they can’t! This should leave them feeling puzzled and wondering if they have had a sudden growth spurt.
  • Freeze a bowl of cereal the night before and see how long it takes someone to notice.
  • Create your own ‘sunny side up’ fried egg, with yogurt and peach. Spoon a dollop of natural yogurt onto a plate and cut in half a peach. Then place the halved peach on top of the yogurt leaving you with a very well disguised fried egg. A simple joke that is sure to cause laughs.
  • With a food safe /edible icing pen draw funny faces on the food in the fridge or in your child’s pack lunch so when they open it, they will get a funny surprise.

Nannies, parents and children if you decide to get involved with April Fools Day this year, just remember to be sensible. It is always exciting to have fun, but make sure that you are being safe and avoid taking part in any activities that are going to cause harm or hurt anyone.

Written by Emily Martin for Harmony at Home Limited. All Rights Reserved, 2018

 

Register now for updates on how to reduce your Childcare Costs in 2017

March 23, 2017 | Leave a Comment

The Government have recently announced a few NEW ways to help parents with the cost of childcare.

Whatever the age of your child, you can get support!

Lets break it down…

The following are all ways the Government are able to help with the cost of childcare:

15 hours of free childcare for families:

  • In England, currently receiving some form of support
  • With children 2 years of age

15 hours of free childcare for families:

  • In England
  • With children aged 3 & 4 years of age

NEW – Coming soon – 30 hours of free childcare for:

  • Working families in England
  • Families with children 3 & 4 years of age
  • That is an extra 15 hours per week of free childcare making a total of 30 hours

NEW – Coming soon – Tax Free Childcare for:

  • Working families in the UK (including the self employed)
  • Children under the age of 12 (or under 17 if disabled)
  • Every £8.00 that you pay in, the government will add an extra £2.00, up to £2,000 per child

Tax credits for childcare for:

  • Working families in the UK
  • Children under the age of 16 (or under 17 if disabled)
  • 70% of childcare costs up to a cap

Universal credit for childcare for:

  • Working families claiming universal credit in England, Scotland or Wales
  • Children that are under the age of 16
  • 85% of eligible childcare costs, up to a cap

Childcare Vouchers for:

  • Working families in the UK
  • Families with children under the age of 16 (or under 17 if disabled)
  • Up to £933 a year in tax and National Insurance savings

Support whilst you study:

  • Weekly payments through Care to Learn if you are at school or sixth form
  • Help through your college if you are in full time education.
  • A weekly grant if you are in full time higher education

To find out all information and entitlements about all childcare choices and what you are eligible for, click on the link to register: https://www.childcarechoices.gov.uk/

Written by Emily Martin for Harmony at Home Limited. All Rights Reserved, 2017

How to get involved with Red Nose Day 2017

March 22, 2017 | Leave a Comment

This year, Red Nose Day is on the Friday 24th March!

Comic Relief is a fantastic charity that aims to make a difference within the UK and Africa.

This year, Red Nose Day is focusing on 5 major issues that affect so many people daily:

  1. Immunisation
  2. Mental Health
  3. Vulnerable people
  4. Domestic violence
  5. Fighting Malaria

To find out more about these issues and what you can do to help, click on the link: https://www.rednoseday.com/the-difference-you-make

 

A few simple, fun fundraising ideas ideal for nannies, parents & children:

Have a bake sale –  Have a go at making some cakes or yummy treats and then sell them on. See if you are able to sell them at work or at school and see how much money you can raise. This is a perfect opportunity for you to be able to see what put your baking skills into practice

Do something sponsored – A great way to raise money is by getting involved in a sponsored event.

These are just a few simple ideas that nannies, parents and children can choose from to get involved in Red Nose Day 2017

  • Give something up for a week
  • Take part in a 24 hour sponsored silence
  • Wearing fancy dress for the day
  • Take part in a sporting activity

There are also lots of Red Nose Day Merchandise that can be bought and worn to show your support!

To find out more about Red Nose Day 2017, click on the link to be taken to the official Red Nose Day Website: https://www.rednoseday.com/

Written by Emily Martin for Harmony at Home Limited. All Rights Reserved, 2017

 

Perfect ways to celebrate Mother’s Day

March 22, 2017 | Leave a Comment

Mother’s Day is on Sunday 11th March!

Dads and nannies, this is a perfect opportunity to get your children involved.

Mother’s Day doesn’t have to be complicated. This year, help your child create or plan something special that is easy and inexpensive that will lighten up your mother’s day.

Perfect ideas to celebrate Mother’s Day: for children, nannies and dads…

Start the day off with Breakfast in bed… 

Mum deserves a lie in and the day off. Plan to make her a delicious breakfast and surprise her by delivering it to her in bed. The perfect way for her to start the day.

A homemade card…

To make mother’s day extra special, get creative and encourage your child to design and make a card.  A simple and effective idea that children love and enjoy producing. Personalize it with a special poem or with a few meaningful words to show how much you love her. A personal card is so special and something that mothers love to cherish.

Make something special…  

A homemade gift is an ideal option for younger children. Choose something that your child loves to make and get creative! Get creative with your children or charges and see what you can create!

Crafts ideal for Mother’s Day:

  • A special picture captured put on a collage with special words and phrases
  • A scrap book to treasure
  • A picture that they have designed
  • A hand painted mug, plate or bowl
  • A homemade bookmark

Buy her some flowers or chocolates…

Flowers and chocolates are simple and ideal and work as perfect last minute gifts if needed. Take your children/charges with you to choose some flowers or chocolates that they think she would love. Mothers love to receive flowers or chocolates and knowing that their child has taken the time to choose them, is extra special.

Have a special plan for the day…

Mother’s Day should be spent together as a family. Set aside the day and spend it together. Make plans to see family or friends, go out for the day or simply spend it at home watching a film with some yummy treats. There is so much fun that can be had with arts and crafts or playing in the garden.

Take her somewhere she loves…

If you know there is that one place that your mum loves to visit, make a plan to go there. It will make her day going to a place that she loves, with the people she loves.

Pamper her…

It is a day for her to relax so a little pampering is always a lovely idea. Treat your mum to some much needed pampering and have a go at setting up a little DIY pamper station and giving her some much needed TLC.

Do some house chores…

Let mum have the day off and put her feet up. Take part in some house work and do something that you she always does for you.

Nannies and dads, make sure you have Mother’s Day 2018 sorted. Make sure you have sorted or made a present and have a plan in place for the day.

However you decide to celebrate Mother’s Day this year, remember to show mum lots of love and appreciation this Mother’s Day.

Written by Emily Martin for Harmony at Home Limited. All Rights Reserved, 2018

Spring Time activities for Nannies and Parents

March 17, 2017 | Leave a Comment

Goodbye Winter, Hello Spring

I have some good news! Spring is here. Finally, we are able to say goodbye to winter. We can start to pack away our winter coats and scarfs and can get excited for the longer days and sunshine.

The first official day of spring this year is March 20th. It is a day much anticipated by many, especially after the cold winter months. Spring doesn’t just bring along sunshine, but also lots of vibrant colour. With new flowers and foliage that arise, it is season that is set to bring a smile to our faces.

Spring also signifies longer days and the start of the lighter mornings and evenings. This is because the clocks ‘spring forward’ and this will occur on the 25th March at 1am. The only downside that comes with the clocks ‘springing forward’ is that it means we lose an hour of precious sleep! Families, parents and nannies, make sure you remember to change your clocks before going to bed the night of the 24th so that when you awake in the morning, you know the correct time.

Spring is such a lovely time of year and especially for families and children. It allows you to come out of hibernation and go for walks, days out or on adventure trips to nature reserves.

Nannies and families, to get your children excited about spring and Easter time, why not encourage them to take part in some fun spring related activities.

Here are a few great ideas for children to take part in:

Spring related Crafts:

Painting

Get messy this spring. A great idea to have some fun is to paint hands, feet and fingers and have a go at making DIY stamps! Have a go and see what shapes you can create.

Cutting and Sticking

Creating flowers by cutting up paper plates

See what you can make with an egg carton. It is a versatile house hold object that can be used for lots of crafts.

Activities for all to get involved with: parents, nannies, families and children…

  • Gardening – Get your children involved with nature and have a go at creating a mini garden. Have a go at growing a selection of flowers or vegetables or have a go at cress.
  • Fly a kite – A classic thing to take part in when the weather gets a little warmer and is something everyone of all ages can enjoy.
  • Have a picnic – Don’t let the weather stop you, if it’s raining, have an indoor picnic – it’s just as fun!
  • Take a trip to the Beach – the odd day may be warm enough to take a trip to the beech!
  • Go on a walk/hike – depending on your children’s age, spring can provide the perfect weather for a walk. A lovely way to spend the day as a family. If you have young children, encourage them to see it as an opportunity to go on an adventure/hunt and see what you can find.
  • Bike Rides – Children love to ride their bikes and this is a fantastic activity to do as a family. Pick your route, pack a picnic and head off out.
  • Baking – A great way to spend time together is by baking.

Here is a simple spring inspired recipe for children to make:

Shredded Wheat Nests:

You will need:

200g of Milk Chocolate

85g of shredded wheat

2 x 100g of mini chocolate eggs

Cupcake cases

All you need to do is:

  • Melt the chocolate in a small bowl over a pan of water (barely simmering).
  • Once the chocolate has melted pour it over the shredded wheat and stir until combined.
  • Spoon the chocolatey mixture into the cupcake cases, press down with the back of a spoon and add some chocolate mini eggs to finish.
  • To complete, chill in the fridge for 2 hours and then enjoy!

https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/2066656/shredded-wheat-nests

To change this recipe up, have a go at using other cereals and seeing which your favorite is.

Nannies and families, now that spring is upon us, make sure you enjoy lots of fun days out and activities. If we are lucky and have some nice sunny spring days, make sure you make the most of it and get out and participate in some outdoors activities.

When we have those, hopefully rare and occasional rainy days, make sure you still have fun and get involved in baking, arts and crafts!

Written by Emily Martin for Harmony at Home Limited. All Rights Reserved, 2018

Nannies and Families Celebrate World Book Day

March 2, 2017 | Leave a Comment

Nannies and families, World Book Day is on the 1st March!

This is an exciting opportunity for all children, nannies and families to get involved by dressing up, reading and bringing their favourite stories to life!

World Book Day gives young people the chance to celebrate reading, authors, illustrators and books. It gives them the chance to discover new books and new authors to get to know and love.

2017 is the 20th World Book Day celebration and it is a time where young people can come together and celebrate reading. The main aim of World Book Day is ‘to encourage children to explore the pleasures of books and reading by providing them with the opportunity to have a book of their own’.

Taken from the World Book Day Website: http://www.worldbookday.com/

Dressing up:

Nannies and parents, a great way to encourage children to join in is by dressing up. Your child may be celebrating at school and may be asked to come in dressed as their favourite character from their favourite book or your child may just want to dress up at home and have some fun.

There are so many different books to choose from, it can be tricky to just choose one character to dress up as. If you are looking for some inspiration, here are a few well know characters that you can encourage your children to dress up as:

  • Harry Potter
  • Star Wars
  • Alice in Wonderland
  • Little Red Riding Hood
  • Dorothy – Wizard of Oz
  • Mary Poppins
  • Matilda, Miss Trunchbull – Matilda
  • Willy Wonka
  • Horrid Henry
  • The Cat in the Hat
  • Mr Men characters
  • A Peach – James and the Giant Peach
  • The Big Friendly Giant – The BFG
  • Where’s Wally?
  • The Gruffalo

Bring your favourite stories to life:

Parents and nannies encourage your children to re-create their favourite stories/ books with some dressing up and role play. A fun idea to encourage children to get involved with World Book Day.

Nannies and families, why not have even more fun by joining your children and getting involved with dressing up and role play!

You will need to:

  • Choose your favourite book & character
  • Get dressed up as your favourite character and start planning your role play
  • Bring your favourite book to life!
  • Have fun recreating your favourite short story! All children can get involved.

Writing

Another important aspect of World Book Day is writing. Children have amazing, creative imaginations! Nannies and parents, encourage them get thinking, put pen to paper and see what wonderful stories they can come up with.

However you decide to celebrate World Book Day, enjoy it. It is a day that all can get involved with, children, parents and nannies! To celebrate World Book Day, many National Book Tokens are given out. If your child is given a World Book Day token to spend, remember to take them to choose a new book and get reading! To find more about information about World Book Day, National Book Tokens and more exciting ways to celebrate this amazing day, click the website link: http://www.worldbookday.com/

Written by Emily Martin for Harmony at Home Limited. All Rights Reserved, 2018

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